Reflections On ‘Imagined Communities’ – I: Children And Humanity

In Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Verso, New York, 2006, pp. 10-11), Benedict Anderson writes: [R]eligious thought also responds to obscure intimations of immortality, generally by transforming fatality into continuity (karma, original sin, etc.). In this way, it concerns itself with the links between the dead and yet unborn, the mystery ofContinue reading “Reflections On ‘Imagined Communities’ – I: Children And Humanity”

A Persistent Reminder Of A Hardened Heart

A few weeks ago, as I approached the entrance to the subway station I use on my way back home after a trip to the gym, I noticed a familiar figure standing by its stairs: a man of indeterminate age who stands at the top step, next to the door for a deli, asking forContinue reading “A Persistent Reminder Of A Hardened Heart”

The Road And The Apocalyptic World of the Homeless

Last week, the students in my Philosophical Issues in Literature class and I, as part of our ongoing discussion about Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road, watched John Hillcoat‘s cinematic adaptation of it. On Monday, we watched roughly half the movie in class, and then on Wednesday, we concentrated on three scenes: the encounter with Ely theContinue reading “The Road And The Apocalyptic World of the Homeless”

The Smells of the Homeless: Unpleasant Reminders of Our Good Fortune

I receive, on a daily basis, many reminders of my singular good fortune, of my having scored big in life’s sweepstakes: I have a good job–one that gives me a sabbatical every seven years, a lovely family, and good health. (Despite a sore shoulder thanks to a persistent case of supraspinatus tendinopathy, two busted discsContinue reading “The Smells of the Homeless: Unpleasant Reminders of Our Good Fortune”

Winners and Losers, All Together

On Thursday night, after a brief foray into New Jersey, I returned to New York City by train, arriving a little after midnight at Penn Station. I walked upstairs into the arrival hall, turned toward the Seventh Avenue exit, and emerged  in front of Madison Square Garden before walking east on 33rd Street toward theContinue reading “Winners and Losers, All Together”